Monday, May 31, 2004

Iraq's Next President

With the majority of the ministry posts filled by IGC concensus and the Prime Minister chosen by UN envoy al-Brahimi, there remains the decision of who will be Iraq's next President. The debate is heated.

Most of the Iraqis in the IGC appear to favor engineer Ghazi al-Yawar. al-Yawar is a Sunni tribal leader and a relative of Sheikh Mohsen al-Yawar of the powerful Shamar tribe. This tribe consists of both Sunni and Shia members, which may be helpful to al-Yawar as President. al-Yawar was in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Adnan Pachachi is the favorite of US and UN representatives. Pachachi is also a Sunni and no neophyte to politics. He was foreign minister for Presidents Abdul Salam Arif and Abdul Rahman Arif in 1965-67 and was the permanent representative to the UN in 1959-65 and then again 1967-68. Pachachi has strong "hero appeal" as an anti-Saddam voice. Pachachi was in exile in the UAE.

Paul Bremer and al-Brahimi are talking of a possibility of compromise candidate for President, but it is not yet clear who that might be.


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